Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dear Mia, Part 15

Well, gosh, I started writing this back at the end of March... 7 months ago. This is what I wrote then:

Mia, we just celebrated your 3rd birthday, and I hope it was as fun for you as it was for me. If the last few weeks are any indication of what your 3rd year will be like, I can't wait to see what's to come. The wild, erratic, tantrum-throwing toddler has turned into a hilarious, energetic, well-behaved kid.

I try to tell you as often as I can what a GOOD girl you are. You no longer scream the whole time we're grocery shopping. You sit patiently in waiting rooms without me having a bag full of distractions. Meal times are no longer a battleground. You go to bed at night without getting up 15 times before morning, and you rarely take naps anymore, but you play independently in your room for an hour or so in the afternoons, usually without too much intervention.

For your birthday I tried to fit in as much fun for you as I could. When I asked you what you wanted for lunch if you could eat anything, you told me you wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but I convinced you maybe french fries were a loftier goal, so we got you a McDonalds Happy Meal and you sat on the living room floor watching Frozen while eating it. Afterward we went to Build-a-Bear because there is just nothing you love more in this world than stuffed animals. It was perfect for you, filling a puppy dog with stuffing, bathing it, picking out an outfit for it. Then we went to the merry-go-round in the mall, because that's probably your second favorite thing in life. We made cupcakes and had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Then the following day we had your birthday party at Bounce-it-Out. Every single one of your favorite people came, all your cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, neighbors and friends. It was just so awesome to see you so happy, holding hands with one friend while jumping, then going down a giant slide on a cousin's lap.

You are obsessed with the movie Frozen right now. You love Olaf, the snowman, and often wonder aloud if perhaps he will visit us one day. I made you a snowman a few weeks ago, which you named Olaf and then spent a good 30 minutes talking to and trying to feed. When you accidentally knocked him over, tears were shed. You can sing along with the entire soundtrack, and you do multiple times a day into your toy microphone, with much emotion. And this may be our first foray into the world of loving princesses, because you LOVE Princess Anna. I was beginning to think we might bypass all of that, but it seems not.

2 and a half was a rough age for me, and our family was in a big transition, but I finally feel like I've got my fun little sidekick back.

You really are better with your sister than I could have ever imagined. A lot of the time you are just indifferent to her, but you pick toys up for her when she drops them, you often crouch down on the floor with her to kiss on her and talk to her. Most impressive is that her crying doesn't bother you. We've gone through a rough patch with her sleeping so we've been hearing her scream a lot lately, and miraculously it doesn't seem to fray your nerves as it does mine, and often you sleep right through it.

And now, you are 3 1/2, and I don't even know where to begin!

You started pre-school in September and you LOVE it. You only go 2 mornings a week, but you ask every day if it is a school day. You are making your own friends, and I am just so excited for you to have your own little life separate from me, to see how your personality flourishes all on its own. You are so very outgoing, running up to your classmates to give them long, awkward hugs (we're working on that) and telling your teachers all about things going on in your life. You ask cashiers in stores what their names are, and then introduce them to your little sister. You are so confident and self-assured, and I hope that nothing ever puts a damper on that.

You take a dance class on Saturdays where you do tap and ballet and you do a little class after pre-school on Tuesdays called Sporty Sprouts where you are introduced to a bunch of different sports. You love both. You look a swim class through the Y this summer and it was amazing to see how much more comfortable you became in the pool just over the course of 7 or 8 weeks.

You love your sister. You are desperate for her to learn to play with you, and it's happening slowly. She'll laugh manically as you run circles around her in a toddler version of "chase." You guys hug and kiss each other, but also push each other out of the way to sit on my lap.

We have our rough days, where you fall apart over little things and don't want to use your words. But mostly you are funny and smart and inquisitive. You ask SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. I told you earlier today that Gracie watched Sesame Street while you were at school and then had to answer 300 questions about what episode it was, what Elmo was singing about, etc. etc. etc.

We had lots of fun this summer. We took a trip with my side of the family to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and you had so much fun. Every day you played in the ocean and the pool and the sand and every night we had a slumber party with your cousins. It was such a great week.

We also visited the zoo, a few farms to pet the farm animals, the pool at Camp Arrowhead, the museum, every playground in a five mile radius, and spent every afternoon out in our yard.

We moved in April to a bigger house, and you adapted quickly, only sad about leaving behind our neighbor Kassie whom you used to play with every day. But you have made a new friend down the street who is about a year younger than you, named Molly. And you love the swing set we inherited in our yard.

You love to make up songs and dress up in crazy outfits. You love to play with your play kitchen making me wild concoctions of foods. You love to draw and paint and read and do puzzles.

Halloween is next week and you are going as Ladybug Girl. I love that the last two years you have chosen to be characters from books.

Oh Mia, I know it's probably cliche to say, but you are a joy. When we are at your school or the library and you are chattering away or singing and dancing without a care, people always notice you -you are the absolute opposite of a wallflower - and I am SO PROUD that you are mine. I wonder a million times a day where the heck you came from. You certainly didn't get this outgoing personality from me. But, man, I think it's amazing. Sure, the flip side is you can get awfully sassy, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Your mama thinks you are one of the coolest people in the world, and I hope you always know that.

Favorite Shows: Strawberry Shortcake, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Paw Patrol
Favorite Movies: Frozen, Rio
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Songs: Let it Go (Frozen), Boom Clap (Charli XCX), Fancy (Iggy Azalea)
Favorite Foods: Sweets, yogurt, bagels & cream cheese, fruit snacks
Favorite Books: Elephant & Piggie books, Ladybug Girl books, Fancy Nancy books